Well its been quite a trying time the last several weeks dealing with my vehicle situation. I went through a gamete of emotions, options and schemes to figure out what the most practical course of action was.
I started thinking that I have had it with this trip, and the expenses that it has incurred. I was ready to pack up and head home. After talking to friends and family (and a fare settlement from the insurance company) I decided to start to look for another van. I figured if I found something within the small town that I am living in that is worth buying I would snatch it up. I also started looking in Dunedin, the closest larger city about 4 hours away. I was thinking if i found something there, it might be worth a trip down. I really left it with no time line or pressure to buy, a lesson I learned after my first wrestle with car buying here in NZ.
After about a week of searching on the internet I came across 3 good potential candidates for my next van. The one that won out was in Dunedin, and a 3 day trip was necessary. I headed down on a bus, looked at the van, test drove it, then had the owner take the wheel chair lift out of the back. I finally got the van on the morning of the third day.
The van is a ’87 (yes its old) Toyota Hiace. Its a 2000cc petrol (gasoline) engine, which is tiny and gutless, unlike the diesel I had before. The engine and body are in ridiculously good condition for its age. Nothing is needed to get it up to operating order. It was a good buy!
The only thing needed was a stereo. This is a bit frivolous, but it only had an AM radio with one speaker….that just wasn’t going to cut it for a road tripping van. I found a guy to install a stereo for me that was suppose to be cheap, and we where going to add an old tape deck for $20 bucks.
This was all good until we started to try to access the radio and slowly found out that the entire dash needed to come out. It is the most stupid design for dash assembly and it took over 4 hours to make the swap. In this process we decided that it would be much more worth while to add a decent head unit, and forgo adding speakers till later since it is so hard to access the stereo.
Now all that needs to be done is another build out of the back. I figure this time I’m just going to buy lumber and make the thing correctly. I have to build a plywood floor to offset the old wheel chair lift mounting beams, and then put in the bed. With the right lumber and a screw gun (still need to locate this) it should only take me 2 days, and I will be back to square one.